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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

     I got to thinking this past week about a strange set of circumstances.  My husband, Jeff Wellman and his partners, Dixie Brown & Paul Counts, launched an internet marketing product and the response was so over the top that I was a bit perplexed.  I mean…people were calling to say thank you for the customer service, people  were amazed that he (the product owner), answered his own phone, people being shocked that he even put his own (real) phone number on the product page.  

        One caller was so taken aback that he laughed and said he had something all prepared to leave on a voice mail…and, when the phone was answered by the product owner…he didn’t know what to say; now that is kind of funny!   The whole response, to this old fashioned way of doing business, was wonderful in an amazing sort of way…it got me thinking; are we so deprived of good customer service that when we experience it, we are flustered enough that we feel we must acknowledge it?  🙂  (more…)

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       Have you ever talked with someone, in person or on the phone, and FELT the pain that they were going through?  Staying connected to those around us demands an attitude of awareness and compassion.  Having a relationship with others, that goes beyond the surface, requires time, attention, and sensitivity.  Are you able to feel someone else’s pain?

        Communicating comfort, love and caring towards others is easy.  All you have to do is reach out to them, for them to feel that love and caring.  Will they talk about their pain; it depends on whether they are ready or not.  Some people internalize what they are going through…they can’t share it until they have processed what they are struggling with.  Others unload their challenges at the drop of a hat. 

       The key to staying connected and being helpful to another person; is knowing that person well enough to know how they handle painful situations.  If they need someone to talk to when dealing with difficulties, try to be there for them.  If they need time to process what they are going through…make sure they know they can call on you when they are ready to talk it out. 

       Lately, it seems like there are too many news reports of people who have broken under stress or pain and have become desperate…hurting themselves or someone else that they professed to love.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  If everyone tried to be more aware of those around them…this world would be a better place.  Do you know someone who is hurting; or, is it you who is going through a hard time?

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        I have been observing alot of situations in the news and in the events that happen around me…I’ve come to the conclusion that the secret in overcoming any challenges or events in life has to be in deciding not to let any circumstances or event define the rest of your life.  I think a person’s attitude or determination is the key factor.

        Have you ever known someone who has gotten stuck in life?  You know…the the type of person who just can’t seem to be able to get past a certain event, challenge or obstacle?  It is a person who dwells on all of the lost opportunities in life; any negative situations they have encountered, the after-effects or consequences from a trauma or difficulty that they have faced; events that have been a cross road in their life.  We all have them; so what determines who overcomes and who seems to be buried under a load of defeat?  (more…)

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Well, this past week has been a lesson on nurturing my blog.  This past week was a week out of the ordinary and I was not able to nurture my blog in the way that I normally do.  I began to think on that thought.  A blog is a bit like a baby…it needs to be nurtured to grow and prosper.

How do you nurture a blog, you ask?  First things first, if you have a blog already you need to evaluate it’s well-being.  If you do not have a blog…begin one.  You need to think about what your blog is intended to accomplish.  Mine was initially set up to develop some discipline, commitment, and to help improve my writing.  As it evolved, I learned more…and therefore; I have discovered what I want and need.  Some of those things have changed with time; and now, I know that  my blog needs some adjustments.   That is ok, it is called growing pains; things that don’t grow become stagnant…they wither and die.  If your goals change for your blog, then you must make changes.  That knowledge requires some re-evaluation.  (more…)

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     If you were traveling through a poverty striken area and you had a baby of your own that you were still nursing…could you walk away from a hungry newborn baby that had nothing to eat?  Actress Salma Hayek was in Sierra Leone on a humanitarian mission…she nursed an African newborn who was starving because his mother could not produce milk for her child.  Salma was moved to feed that child.  She talked about his eyes lighting up as he began to feel the nutrition flow into his body.  She was moved in her heart to feed him; because i believe that a nursing mother can’t ignore a hungry baby that is crying out in his/her need;  that is called basic human compassion.  Still, you would think that we all had that in abundance; but, not always so, some would run the other way as quickly as they could go.

       This moment was captured on film by the news crew of  “Nightline”  who were along on the trip for Unicef , to promote the importance of tetanus vaccines.   Unicef and Pampers have a campaign called 1 Pack=1Vaccine; Salma is a spokeswoman for Pampers.  www.unicefusa.org or www.pampers.com/unicef 

         I love the message of what Salma did; purely from the standpoint of, if you see a need fill it.  Salma still is breastfeeding her own child who is approximately 1 year old.  She understands the importance of, the nutritional value as well as the bonding value of, breastfeeding. 

         Surely there will be those individuals who will criticize her for what she did.  There will be naysayers who will bring up the issue of aids and to the  possible exposure to her health or that of her own child.  They will say that she did this as a publicity stunt, or for the attention.  Some will say in the larger scheme of things…did that one feeding make a difference; will it save the life of that child.   I believe it made a difference.  I believe an African woman saw an American woman with heart.  I believe a baby felt fulfillment, comfort, and love.  I pray that the mother and child received more help.  A world saw a desperate moment and an act of love.

          I say, she was in the moment.  She saw a child in need; she felt the despair of a mother who could not provide for her child the most basic necessity in life at that time for her child; she did what she was able to do.  I love that she didn’t think twice.  Those who have been blessed in life and find themselves around others in need have a responsibility to share.  I respect Salma for doing it so very naturally.  There are so many in need around the world…what can you do to make a difference?

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      When someone struggles with guilt in a needless way…it can be devastating.  I had a brief conversation with someone who was struggling with it…as she said, her guilt, other people’s guilt; and, she said she needed to let it go; because she worried too much about what other people thought.

      You see, guilt is simply a tool.  One that our subconscious mind uses to help us make good choices in our lives; it is like an early warning detection system.   Guilt tells us we are making a wrong choice.   But like anything, guilt can be misplaced.  Instead of building us up and helping us to build a strong positive character; sometimes guilt runs amok, and instead creates self-doubt, tearing down our self-esteem and helps to destroy the foundation , of who we are as a person. 

        This must be dealt with or a person who struggles with needless guilt, or a disporportionate amount of guilt to any given situation, begins to devalue their own opinions and strengths and begins to give more weight and credibility to those around them.

       I told her she needed to value herself as much as she valued the opinions of others.  It was a simple statement.  She simply needed to worry as much about what she thought of herself as she did about what others thought of her.  You see, when you look in the mirror (or examine your own heart and mind) you have to like who you see; you have to respect yourself.    Later, she said she was better.  I was glad…because she is a person who comes across as a very caring person…a person who does alot for others…and who reaches out.

      Why is it that we are so quick to judge ourselves harshly and so quick to give the benefit of doubt to others?  Each of us does this to some degree.  We have negative thought patterns that we fall victim to…that little negative voice inside our heads; our own personal form of self-doubt.    We must learn to appreciate ourselves in ways that matter.  After all, if we dont value ourselves enough…no one else will either!

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       As a person living in the midwest, in one of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last 25 years…i have to say i was irritated when i read that since President Obama moved into the White House the thermostat has allegedly gone up.  For a man who made it part of his campaign to encourage Americans to sacrifice for the world environment and to take on a personal responsibility regarding climate changes; I am offended by an article that i read today that says the Oval office is like a tropical hot house, warm enough to grow orchids in.  Someone needs to hold this administration accountable in these types of areas…turn down the heat on President Obama.

       Across our nation right now, many Americans are without electric or typical normal heat sources because of an ice storm, that is going to take weeks to fix.  This is during some truly challenging temperatures as our country transitions between winter and spring.

       Part of the perception of the recent, more relaxed environment in the Oval office…meaning that visitors no longer have to wear suit jackets when they enter in like the former administration; is really more about personal comfort levels.  It isn’t mainly about being relaxed in that room as much as it is about it being warm; so that wearing a suit and tie would be really uncomfortable.  While I applaude the more informal feel to this Presidency…I have to say that even the White House staff and aides have commented on the temperature change; including his chief of staff, David Axelrod who  allegedly, made the statement about the orchids growing in there.

         The article I read said something to the effect that even though President Obama comes from Chicago…he was born in Hawaii, and he likes being warm.  Well, no fake…most of us don’t enjoy being colder than is comfortable…but , what about that personal sacrifice he was talking about before?  I dont want to bust his chops on this or any other issue just for the sake of it…but…this subject is a little close to home when my own family has to keep the furnace set on 58-60 degrees because of the necessity of the high cost of heating our home.

        Another, more important reason this is so maddening is that in my home state…there have been several people who have frozen to death.  A man by the name of Marvin E. Schur, 93 years old, froze to death recently in Bay City, Michigan because the electric company put a limiter on his electric service and his home power was shut off…effectively causing his heating source to stop working.  He died…come on…was that President Obama’s fault….no!  However, when i hear polyanna remarks justifying his higher temperature on the thermostat in the Oval office; it makes me angry to know that others are SUFFERING AND DYING when there are others who have so much and are wasteful with it.  It is not right.

        So please President Obama…you have so many other more important things on your plate…turn down the heat in the White House so that your actions match your words and your call for personal responsibility.   That way, those who would otherwise be inspired by you and your goals of helping our nation turn towards more green living and a more positive use of our energy sources can get on board without having to defend your conflict of words and actions!  Be an inspirational leader so that you can have a powerful impact on our country with responsibile energy use.

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     Do you ever wonder what your personal responsibilities are?  I mean, most people understand that they must work, take care of their children, nuture their personal relationships, and pay their bills; what else is there?  Being a responsible person is a way of life; are you required to take care of others outside the close personal limits of your immediate family?  Who and what are you responsible for?  Are there limits to your responsibilty legally, physically, spiritually, emotionally or morally? 

      Have you ever heard the saying, “Are you your brother’s keeper”?  Human beings are complex creatures.  We have layers of self, one upon the other…each with their own wants and needs.  For those who are spiritual seekers of truth; there are teachings which encourage us to reach beyond the demands of our own personal flesh-n- blood, wants and needs.  My road map is the Bible.  Everything i need to know to be a successful and fulfilled person is included in that instruction manual.

       God wants us to follow his leading; we are to grow and learn how to praise him and serve others.  This is not always convienent in today’s society,  according to the world’s values. That attitude of becoming a servant requires a bit of sacrifice on our part.  Many people run from their own responsibilities and refuse to accept that they have a moral responsibility to reach out to others.   And there are others who do not consider themselves spiritual beings who still manage to be service minded…realizing that there is value to connecting with and recognizing need in others. 

      Understand, I am not talking about enabling others to continue to be irresponsible…but instead, teaching and inspiring others to take up the challenge of  meeting their own obligations when they are able.   To do that, they must be inspired, they must have knowledge, skills, opportunities and funding…once that happens, they too can become a servant to pass it on to others.

        Responsibility is something that we must strive for.  When everything is going smoothly…it is because we have acknowledged our responsibilities and have submitted ourselves to the service of God. 

        God says that we are to take care of the widows and the children; we are to befriend the poor.  When we see suffering in the world and we have the ability, the skill, the opportunity to help ,then we must consider it a priviledge and a responsibility to do so.  What are you willing to do for those around you?  Do you know someone who has a need? Can you listen when someone needs to talk, can you spend time with someone who is lonely, are you capable of performing a chore that someone else cant do and needs done? 

      There are so many ways to be of service to another fellow human being…it is simply a matter of being aware and observing those around you and being willing to be helpful.  People in need are all around us…it will change your life to see the world through the eye and heart of a servant of God.

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     I can’t believe all of the different things that this inauguration appears to mean to each person that i talk to or read about.  Some people are moved to tears by the inspiration of it all.  Some people are in awe of the historical nature.  For others it is more personal; they have invested so much of their own personal hopes and dreams into the candidates for the office of the President of the United States.  Observing the inauguration is a very personal and a very public thing.  The swearing in of the 44th President of the United States is a solemn occasion and is observed by all in a variety of ways.

      For quite some time there has been indiviual stories on the news about individuals who have made the trek to view the ceremonies in person…some have borrowed money to get there or made amazing sacrifices to fund the trip.  Others who are content to watch from their homes watch avidly….others in dismay.

      Supporters of candidates who did not win the nominations have differing views and opinions.  I watch and look for conflicting emotions on the faces of those who could have been in a different place during todays proceedings..and yet…i see pride, joy and excitement in their faces.

       Watching the former Presidents and the mixture of emotions and memories flood their visage is truly something to see.  Their wives remembering their time in the spotlight…reflecting on the changes since their moment…you can see the strength that it takes to endure the pressures and the passage of time.

        It is no simple time …the respect of the responsibility, the solemness of the swearing in…the honor…the pride…the exaltation…it is such a mixture of the past, the present and the future.  Truly…can feel the waves of deeply held beliefs and expectations.  For this one day, we can enjoy the coming together as a nation.  There will be time on another day to examine the differences, the disappointments, the frustrations and the solutions to problems that exist…For now…today is momentous!  I am thrilled that God is acknowledged as the ultimate authority of our nation…I pray that President Barack Obama submits his actions to be wholly acceptable to the only person who he should be in submission to at this point and that is God himself.  May God bless our nation…and may we live up to the standards that he expects from us.

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        Today is a life affirming day of recognition….it is the Sanctity of Life Sunday…a day when most churches and individuals choose to celebrate life and inspire individuals to cherish & protect it.  Many churches concentrate on the issue of teaching that abortion violates the sanctity of life (I happen to agree)… however, there are many, equally important ways to honor and celebrate life.

        While abortion is a horror to me and i think it should be repellant to all human beings; that issues comes up at the very beginning of life.  There are other circumstances that need to be addressed as well. 

          There are issues such as injury, illness and those who fight for the right to commit suicide.  Life is precious at all stages.  Should we turn a blind eye to those who would turn out the light of another human being simply because they are infirmed, disabled, impaired, terminally ill or have no desire to live another moment?

            For those who truly believe in the sanctity of life…it gets a bit stickier for some when you enter into the idea of criminals who commit heinous crimes; and, the criminal justice system offers up the death penalty or death row for certain individuals who have been convicted of crimes that can dish out the death penalty as punnishment. 

        For me that is a bit trickier –i have not sorted out the boundaries of my beliefs on that.  Criminals who commit the most horrible, vile crimes….it is a struggle in my heart to remind myself that God says, “Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord”.  But, if that verse is applied strictly…then…punnishment will come later from God (in the meantime…life in prison without parole is the only recourse to prevent further tragedy).  

          On the other hand, there are scriptures that also talk about an eye for an eye…and if a man take a life he must also forfeit his.  So…this part of the sanctity of life, i am still working out in my mind and heart.  Until i have studied the issues more closely..i am going to err on the side of; Life is precious and must be protected…at the beginning of life, in the early part of life, in middle age, in the elder years and in all stages in between.

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